HELP! Is it safe to use aluminum foil in the microwave? Partway through thawing you may wish to cover the tips of the wings and drumsticks with a small piece of foil to shield them from the microwaves and keep them from cooking. That is the correct timeframe. A lock ( LockA locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. • You’ll need to allow about 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds of frozen turkey you plan to thaw in the fridge. Changing the water will raise the temperature again. Did not seem logical to toss and refill, did it anyway. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, The Best Green Bean Recipes For Thanksgiving, 25 Corny Thanksgiving Jokes to Tell This Year, 26 Post-Feast Thanksgiving Games for Families, Psst: Here's How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes, 20 Games and Activities to Enjoy on Thanksgiving, 40 Creative Thanksgiving Place Card Ideas. The safest way to thaw turkey breast is simply to place it in the refrigerator. Whatever temperature your faucet water runs on the “cold” setting is considered safe. It will take a full 24 hours of time in the fridge for every five pounds of frozen turkey you have. Why trust us? So your turkey would still be safe. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. Sharing this with others, too. @Jeff Tillett - thank you for your comment. It takes a few days in the fridge to thaw a turkey — about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey — so plan ahead for this one. No. Learn the correct, safe ways to thaw your frozen turkey.It's not safe to thaw a turkey at room temperature or to cook a still frozen turkey. A 25 lb. Even if the product is frozen. The USDA recommends three safe ways to thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, cold water method and in the microwave. Immersing a turkey in cold water is one of the fastest ways to thaw it. Thank you. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. If your Turkey is 16 lbs. Here’s how it’s done: Short answer? I just got a frozen turkey last night (Monday). If I change the water it is going to INCREASE the water temperature. I hope this helps. You can safely cook a turkey within 2 days of it completely thawing. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking. There are three common ways to thaw a turkey. Once thawed, you can keep the turkey in the fridge for another two days before cooking it. thawing is 3 days & safe to cook after 2 more days? Allow one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey, Cold Water Thawing. Use the defrost function based on weight. I’ve had a 19 lb Turkey in a cooler of cold water since Sunday night. Today is Wednesday, so you are short 1 or 2 days. Defrosting a Turkey in the Refrigerator Remove the turkey from the freezer and put it on a platter. The USDA recommends three safe ways to thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, cold water method and in the microwave. Is it still safe since I’m not cooking it til Friday? I Havnt changed the water and the only thermometer is a Candy thermometer that says way below 100 degrees like it at the very bottom of thermometer so I figured it’s 40 or less degrees . Now I know I don’t need to change the water if the temp stays below tap water temp. It isn’t speedy, but you don’t have to worry about making everyone ill. The Refrigerator + Sink Thawing Method The key to this rapid method of thawing is to keep the bird at a safe temperature, using cold water. Directions say and I quote “Partway through thawing you may wish to cover the tips of the wings and drumsticks with a small piece of foil”. Learning how to thaw frozen turkey safely is the first step to deliciously golden brown, perfectly moist Thanksgiving turkey success. Place the pan with the frozen turkey in your refrigerator and allow to thaw 1 day for every 4 pounds of bird. The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. On the upside, the is the safest way to thaw your turkey. If the turkey starts to actually cook instead of just defrost, let it rest for 5 minutes or so before you resume thawing. I didn’t immerse in water for the 24 hours. It seems to me cold bath method does not contain sufficient info for safety. They thaw it too long or too little, which either makes the bird unsafe to eat or too dry. Thawed this way in cold water, estimate roughly 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. The time you have to spend on those mashed potatoes, green beans, and fun Thanksgiving games might depend on it. Keep wrapped and thaw on a rimmed baking sheet or … Can I combine methods? If you re defrosting the turkey in the fridge, you can safely keep it refrigerated for an additional one to two days once it s fully thawed.On the other hand, if you re planning to thaw the turkey in cold water (see here for details on how to do this), the USDA advises that you cook it immediately. Posted by Marianne Gravely, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA in. So, how long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator? • Place the frozen turkey in the fridge — be sure your refrigerator temperature is set at 40 °F or below. How to Defrost a Turkey in the Fridge. As you might of guessed, this involves moving your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, and allowing it to thaw (slowly) at 40°F or lower. This ensures the water stays cold enough for a safe and constant thawing process. However, if I thaw with the cold water method your saying that it needs to be cooked immediately. I cooked it on Saturday and turned out beautifully, but it's just bothersome that they never seem to thaw completely. Title. We hope this helps. Unlike the refrigerator method, a thawed turkey using this method must be cooked immediately after it's defrosted. so minimal bacteria. thawing is 4 days & still safe to cook in 2 more days. We would recommend not to use. However, the turkey experts at Butterball recommend you allow ‘at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey’. It takes a few days in the fridge to thaw a turkey — about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey — so plan ahead for this one. I don't want to take the chance of making our whole family sick. You can keep it stored for an additional 2 days once thawed. Thawing in the refrigerator is the ONLY recommended way to defrost a frozen turkey. The point of the cold water method is to thaw the bird rapidly. For the cold water method, leave the turkey in its original wrapping and submerge it in a sink (or container) full of cold water. However, the turkey experts at Butterball recommend you allow ‘at least 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey’. Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 - 5 pounds of weight. So, how long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator? Best method: Thaw your turkey in the fridge. Don't thaw a turkey on the kitchen countertop where it can become a nesting area for nasty bacteria — or your cat’s midnight snack. I see this everywhere, but no explanation of why?! Not enough time for fridge thaw for my 13 lb bird. The puffy package is usually an indication that spoilage bacteria has begun to grow and therefore the product should not be used. I may have over shot thawing my turkey in the fridge and instead of two days thawed - it is three days thawed. @John - thank you for your comment. Allow enough days to thoroughly thaw. The water covering my bird is > 60 degrees. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 - 5 pounds of weight. How long can you thaw a turkey in the fridge? It’s the ideal way to keep your turkey at safe temperatures during the entire thawing process. If your turkey weighs 16 … The water surrounding my turkey started at 60° and went down to near 45° after 30 minutes. My husband placed our 25 lb frozen turkey on the kitchen counter where it has sat for at least the last 48 hrs. Allow about 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. With this method, allow 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound, so a 16 pound turkey will take 8 hours to thaw using this method (so you might need to start around 4 a.m. if you want to eat in the afternoon!). When you are ready to thaw, keep the turkey in its plastic wrap and place it on a rimmed sheet tray or roasting pan to keep any juices from making a mess your fridge. We put it back in the freezer when he got home. According to the USDA guidelines, this is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature.Give yourself about one day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, for instance, it will take about four days to thaw in the refrigerator. Then get ready to serve your best Thanksgiving dinner ever — with that beautifully bronzed bird as your stunning centerpiece. How long to thaw turkey in the refrigerator: Defrost the turkey for approximately 24 hours for every four pounds, so a 16-pound bird would take about four days. All you need to do is set the turkey in a pan to catch any drips and abandon it in the refrigerator for a couple of days – it is completely hands-off. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. So, if you have a 15-pound bird that you need to thaw from a frozen-solid state, you will need to keep it in your fridge for three days. Also make sure to wrap the turkey back up very well. I have a 25 lb turkey. What if I thaw in water in a refrigerator? But our most important words of advice when it comes to defrosting your bird? That works out to be 12 hours per kilogram for a turkey in a fridge set at 4 degrees C. The water should then be cold enough to use for this method of thawing. It is important that the water be cold so that the turkey stays at a safe temperature. The point of the cold water method is to thaw the bird rapidly. Tomorrow will be its eighth day sitting in the front-bottom shelf of my fridge. This isn’t rocket science. We would not recommend to consume. There isn't anyplace near me in Los Angeles where the tap water comes out at 40 degrees, assuming that is the goal. Just like the refrigerator method, it’s important to keep the turkey in its original, airtight packaging. We recommend to cook within 2 days of thawing. As a general rule, allow 6 minutes per pound when thawing a turkey in the microwave. @Amelia - thank you for your comment. When time is your friend, this may be the easiest way to take care of business. If left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it would no longer be safe to consume. The disadvantage of this method is that, for a very large breast, it can take days to defrost. H2o stayed in 38-40 range. In the refrigerator -- Allow about 24 hours for each 4 … If left at room temperature for just 2 hours, it is not safe to eat. As long as the turkey was not left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it would still be safe. The USDA recommends this method, and it's even safe enough that you could re-freeze the thawed turkey if you want to. A turkey thawed in the refrigerator can be left in the fridge for up to two days before cooking; Refrigerator Thawing Times . Thaw it in the fridge. How it works: Place your turkey (in its original packaging) in the refrigerator on a large platter to catch any drippings. For example, if you turkey is 4kg, it would take around 44 hours - or two days - to defrost in the fridge. The defrost time should be on the turkey’s packaging. Note: This is gonna take some time. Any thoughts? Here’s the calculation: plan on 24 hours of fridge thawing for every 5 pounds of frozen turkey (for example: budget 4 full days of thawing in the fridge for a 20-pound turkey). And Yes, I read the safety guideline in the next section. Once the turkey has thawed you should cook it immediately. If you really don’t have the time and you need to get that bird done ASAP, here’s a super expedited thawing method you can try out. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. And depending on how big it is, a frozen turkey can take several days to thaw in your fridge. The identify Turkey was applied to the guinea fowl which has been thought to have originated from Turkey. Once the turkey is thawed, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 additional days before cooking. You really need to warn about the bag of organs and parts that they stuffing the turkey! Remove all outside wrapping and place the turkey on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak. Turkey is distinguished because of its white plumage along with also a bare wattled neck and head. Defrosting checklist. Defrosting in the fridge is the safest way as there is a controlled temperature and you can leave it until it is completely thawed. Can I still use it for this Thursday? If it's not completely thawed by Thursday am can I use the cold water method to defrost the remaining time? Do you think it will be safe since it was out for the 8 hours? We hope this helps! According to the USDA, the safest way to thaw turkey is in the refrigerator. Should I get rid of it. It is still partially frozen. When thawed, the turkey should be cooked within 1 – 2 days. Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended) The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. According to the thawing calculator, a 15-pound bird takes 3.7 days to thaw thoroughly in the fridge -- considered the best method. For more information on safe thawing methods, visit fsis.usda.gov . @Denise P. Niehans - thank you for your comment. You’re supposed to thaw it in the fridge for 48 to 72 hours prior to cooking, then pop it into the oven for roughly 90 minutes. I have heard many people recommend putting the turkey in a cooler to thaw. This is not considered a safe method of thawing. It depends on how you re thawing it. Once thawed, you can keep the turkey in the fridge for another two days before cooking it. My turkey was put in cold garage for 24 hrs. @Mary Ann - thank you for your comment. 12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days. I was afraid I would have to postpone Thanksgiving. Thaw it in the fridge. I thought the thawing turkey might quickly cool it. Official websites use .gov You'll want to allow roughly 24 hours for every five pounds of bird. I have difficulty thawing a turkey in my spare refrigerator. Plan ahead — way ahead of the big meal. I hope this helps. For the planners among us, calculate 24 hours of fridge time for every frozen 5 pounds of turkey. Note: This is gonna take some time. For it to work, however, you'll need plenty of time: 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4 to 5 pounds of bird . "If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. According to the thawing calculator, a 15-pound bird takes 3.7 days to thaw thoroughly in the fridge -- considered the best method. A fully thawed turkey can stay in the fridge for up to two full days! Thanks for the info regarding an icy turkey! 16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days. In case you are wondering, here are some thawing methods that are not recommended: If your turkey is still icy on Thanksgiving morning, don’t panic! As long as the water is the coldest that your tap water gets (cold to touch) and you’re changing the water every 30 minutes, the bird will remain safe, but you must fully cook it immediately afterward. The other two methods (cold water and microwave) must be done immediately before you start cooking the turkey, so you’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving morning. Put your frozen turkey in the fridge. The defrost time should be on the turkey’s packaging. Put 12# turkey in big corian sink, filled with coldest h2o from tap 60F. This can take a while for a large turkey, so be sure to plan the rest of your meal — and the dinner bell — accordingly. Do you have any suggestions for my particular situation? @Nancy - thank you for your comment. Every four to five pounds of turkey will require 24-hours of thaw time in the refrigerator, according to the USDA. Approximate times to defrost a whole turkey in the fridge: - 10 pounds — 2 days plus 12 hours bird will take about 5-6 days to thaw. A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. You want to allow 1 day in the fridge for every 4 pounds of turkey, so refrigerate a 12-pound bird for 3 days, a 20-pound bird for 5 days, and so on. Yes, you would have time to marinate the turkey in between thawing and cooking. Thawing in the Refrigerator There are only 3 safe ways to thaw, in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep the bird at a safe temperature. ? Again, make sure your the … Best method: Thaw your turkey in the fridge. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. @cheryl - thank you for your comment. The best option would be to place in the fridge and allow to thaw. Keep it in a dish or container large enough to catch any defrosted juices. According to the USDA guidelines, this is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature.Give yourself about one day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, for instance, it will take about four days to thaw in the refrigerator. You should change the water every 30 minutes. Turkeys and turkey crowns do not tend to vary in the time it takes to defrost them, as the breast is often the thickest part of the bird so requires the longest time. There is no specific safe temperature for the water, as long as it is cold to touch. Similar to How Long To Defrost 14 Lb Turkey In Fridge, A Turkey can be a big, domesticated bird, even also a native of united states. @Jeff - thank you for your comment. Use your food thermometer, and when your bird measures 165˚F in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast, it is ready. Can I still then brine it for 12 hours before corking? He insists thatit will be fine because he is going to cook it up to above 165 degrees and that will kill all the bacteria. @Kristen - thank you for your comment. The following are recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to thaw your Thanksgiving turkey and avoid foodborne illness. Then, a 12 lbs. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven. If your tap water does not run cold water immediately, let it run for about 30 seconds. You need to change the cold water every 20-30 minutes and also check the turkey to see if it is defrosted. The most recommended (and safest) way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. My tap water is about 65-70 degrees. You can leave the turkey in its packaging, plop it in a pan, and then just put it in your refrigerator. How Much Turkey You Need for Thanksgiving, 24 Best Turkey Recipes to Make This Thanksgiving. The water would be too cold to continuously thaw in the fridge, so it’s not recommended. The plastic wrapper separated from turkey and it’s puffy. A large turkey, say, 15 to 20 pounds, will need to spend 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Refrigerator thawing is the number one most recommended way to thaw a turkey. I would have preferred the refrigerator method but the turkey will not be completely thawed in time. Thaw Turkey in cold water but did not change the water after 7hrs. In fact, the USDA says you can re-freeze your turkey after defrosting it this way since it’s so safe! @Holly - good question. A 4 to 12-pound turkey will thaw in for 2 to 6 hours, A 12 to 16-pound turkey will thaw in 6 to 8 hours; A 20 to 24-pound turkey will thaw in 10 to 12 hours. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. However, after reading the microwave thawing instructions, I think maybe I need to look elsewhere. This year's turkey was 18 pounds and it sat in my refrigerator 9 days and was still partially frozen. @Chris C-b - thank you for your comment. An official website of the United States government. Letting your turkey thaw from the fridge is undoubtedly the safest and simplest way, but it requires the longest. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again. A 6 or 7-pound turkey breast will take about 1 1/2 days (36 hours) to thaw completely. As soon as the Turkey is defrosted enough, remove the giblet bag. "If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. Increase the water temperature? The turkey stays well above the danger zone, which reduces bacteria growth, and it thaws evenly. The idea is to use cold water when using the “cold water method” of thawing. However, when I did that, a layer of ice formed on the outside of the bird. Submerge the turkey in a sink or cooler full of cold water (water should be below 40°F). The USDA calls this the best method, since it allows for a slow, safe reduction in temperature. I took my Turkey out of freezer and started to thaw in sink for 24 hrs just in packaging now in refrig You also want to change the water every 30 minutes. Repeat the water-replacement cycle every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Mine is 13 lbs and I put it in the fridge Monday morning. Will it be ok to continue to thaw itovernight? [ … Hey so my turkey was frozen I used the water method process and it worked but I put the Turkey back into the fridge next day I put more solution for a brine in my turkey and now it’s been two days will it be safe to eat ? This sounds absolutely crazy to me that anyone would even try to use foil in their microwave. As you might of guessed, this involves moving your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, and allowing it to thaw (slowly) at 40°F or lower. Thawing a Turkey in Cold Water. The only safe place for thawing is in the refrigerator, in cold water, or using the microwave. Be sure to rotate it several times, and even flip it, during the thawing process. Keep the turkey in its original, airtight packaging. 20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days. a gallon of milk) so I'm at a loss. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. @Matt - thank you for your comment. Is this safe? We hope this helps! That should speed up the defrosting process a bit. To get more of an accurate projection of how long it will take your turkey will thaw, refer to the timeline below. Does the puffiness mean too much bacteria? Turkey is wrapped in it's plastic case. It is four days since I bought it, it is still mostly frozen. Check out our turkey defrosting time calculator below for the best estimate for your bird: Here’s our no-mess method for thawing a frozen-solid turkey in the refrigerator: We get it — you've spent a lot of time prepping Thanksgiving side dishes and planning your perfect Thanksgiving pie, and pulling that bird out of the freezer just slipped your holiday-frenzied mind. The key to this rapid method of thawing is to keep the bird at a safe temperature, using cold water. Eg: keep h20 bath at or below 40F. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. So remember: Plan ahead so you can thaw your turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours per every 4 pounds. Unfortunately, your turkey may have been compromised. Please clarify--As you caution that the turkey should not be allowed to warm into the 40 degrees or greater temperature zone, the water method does not seem safe. Defrosting timeline for frozen turkey in a refrigerator: A 10-pound turkey takes 2 days and 12 hours to thaw When time is your friend, this may be the easiest way to take care of business. The time it takes to thaw a turkey will vary based on the method used to thaw it. If the plan is to thaw the bird in cold water, make sure … The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. Thawing a turkey on the counter overnight at room temperature is not recommended by the USDA or us, your friendly Test Kitchen helpers. It is perfectly safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state; it will just take longer to cook. The exact same principles apply when thawing a frozen turkey breast vs. a whole turkey. The bag of the turkey had two holes I didn't notice, and I submerged it in water. The temperature in the refrigerator doesn't freeze anything (e.g. Also, the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product if you are thawing using cold water. Personally, I like this method the best if my turkey has already done some thawing in the fridge but is still partially frozen. The times shown are approximate, and are based on thawing a whole frozen turkey. Once it is defrosted, dry off the wrapping and store in the fridge until tomorrow, It will be fine. Not to worry — you can also thaw your turkey more quickly by submerging it in cold water. Wish me luck! It is frozen and I put in the fridge. Thanks for the thawing guide. To safely thaw turkey in refrigerator, plan ahead for time and follow these steps: Keep the turkey in its wrapper. As long as I can get the innards out, I should be good to go. How to defrost a turkey in the fridge. Can I thaw my turkey in the sink overnight? :). While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. I'm confused by this cook it immediately!! The times shown are approximate, and are based on thawing a whole frozen turkey. Simply place your bird in its unopened wrapper breast-side up on a tray in the refrigerator. How To Thaw A Turkey. The idea is to not put the bird back in the fridge or freezer to cook at a later date when using the cold water method of thawing. After 30 minutes water bath was down to 40F. If a cook didn't know to thaw the bird she might not know what's inside. It sat in a cardboard box for the remainder of his work day (about 8 hours) He said the plastic was frosted up but the turkey was still frozen. I bought a 20lb turkey today, the Monday before thanksgiving. But instead, monitor the temperature of the bird. Tuesday night I put it on the counter it was frozen solid it was out till 4 OO I was shocked it was defrosted I put it back. After that said this is crazy and left it. After 30 min, the 0 degree turkey cooled the water to 55-60 degrees. The best way to defrost a turkey is in the refrigerator. Instead, use the fridge. If the bag leaks or is not present, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the turkey. If I thaw my 12 lb turkey in the refrigerator for 2 days, can I use the cold water method on Thanksgiving morning to finish thawing? 30 Best Songs to Rock Out to This New Year’s Eve, What Our Senior Home Editor Wants Right Now, 30 Movies to Watch at Home on New Year's Eve, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Read these safety guidelines! Planning ahead can help prevent problems on the day. Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days, so you can start thawing it six days before thanksgiving (the Friday before Thanksgiving). We hope this helps! It takes approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of whole turkey to thaw in the refrigerator. Slow: Thaw in the Refrigerator. How long to thaw a turkey: Thaw time in the fridge requires about 24 hours for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at about 40° F. Thaw time in cold water requires about 30 minutes per pound in cold water, refreshed every 30 minutes. The bird will remain at a safe temperature and continue thawing as long as you’re using cold tap water and the water is changed every 30 minutes. Instead, use the fridge. I took my 15 pound turkey out of freezer and into fridge on November 16th was that too soon? Plan ahead. We're sorry to tell you that this turkey is not safe. If it is, how long would it take? You'll want to allow roughly 24 hours for every five pounds of bird. Work out defrosting time in advance, so you know how much time to allow. If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. Stay calm — if you’re pressed for time, you can quickly thaw frozen turkey using the cold water method, it’s just a little bit more work and not very practical for larger birds. Foods thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking but there may be some loss of quality. This is also our Test Kitchen’s preferred method because it’s the most hands-off and results in an evenly defrosted bird that’s ready to roast. How to thaw a turkey safely and quickly. If frozen, the meat should be eaten within 24 hours of being defrosted. Can I cold water thaw 8lbs worth ( 4 hours ) in water , then 1 day in fridge to thaw 5 lbs. Your response to I tillet for example does not clarify the issue. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Leave the turkey in the water for 30 minutes, then replace the water with more cold water (and ice if necessary). I added ice cubes but did not lower the temperature below 50 degrees in an hour. You also don’t want to monitor the temperature of the water as that will naturally decrease in temperature as the frozen bird sits in it. It can take at least a couple of days for a large turkey to thaw. It thawed minimally on top. My husband got a frozen 25lb turkey from his work. Within one-two hours, turkey should go into the fridge or freezer, depending on when you plan to use it, obviously. How to Thaw Turkey in the Refrigerator. Just need to be sure. I keep lengthening the time to complete the thawing process. As soon as a frozen turkey begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow, and room temperature is the perfect environment for that icky stuff to multiply.